21 February 2009.
Chester City (a)
Chester City 0 Exeter City 0.
Saturday 21 February 2009.
On the Road with Louise Thornely
It was a bright, sunny, if somewhat a little chilly day, and Chester City were our hosts at the Deva. Chester City, who are currently hovering around the relegation zone and were eager to try and end their six game losing run against us. City were coming into the match having hauled 10 points from the last 12. Chester seemed to be the more eager and seemed to come out of the traps a lot quicker than City. An early chance from them saw a shot just go wide of the post and was a sign of things to come. Adam Stansfield had an adventurous shot saved by the keeper, then also failed to capitalise on a cross that was whipped in by Dean Moxey. Paul Jones was kept well and truly on his toes for most of the game, as he stopped another Chester attack, much to the relief of the 417 travelling faithful. It certainly seemed to be all Chester who seemed to press and press to get that opening goal. Chances for City were very few and far between, as we were failing to gain any momentum going forward.
Jones was again called into action, where a slight defensive error from Steve Tully saw Jones react superbly, luckily for City, the follow up attack Just glide slightly wide of the post. Neil Saunders was hoping to add to his tally of wonder goals.but the volley unfortunately this time was off target. A Saunders comer, a bit of a scramble, found the ball reach Manny Panther, who's long range shot went wide of the target. 0-0 half-time. A change of striking personnel began the second half as Steve Basham replaced Stansfield, which was quickly followed by another change, Ryan Harley coming on for Panther. The second half very much mirrored the first half with City unable to create any clear cut chances and Chester doing all they could to find the opening goal. This must have frustrated the hosts a great deal as they had enough chances to put themselves 2-0 up and for that City have to thank Jones who was outstanding in goal as his reactions were second to none. The player who stood out was Rob Edwards, for he seemed very assured in his performance and he went on a run very similar to that at the Torquay play off semi final game where you just hoping it could have met Harley, but alas it was not meant to beHe did his best to get the ball forward as well as being steady and composed at the back, and was unlucky to see his powerful header saved by the keeper in the final few minutes. The match finished 0-0 and the quality was a far cry from what we have witnessed in recent games, overcoming Aldershot, the 4-0 emphatic win against MacclesfieldChester were no push overs and must be delighted with the point, although they will feel they deserved all three as they continue to push for survival. We have to take the positives, a clean sheet and we got a point out of the game, this sees us slip into 8th in the table, just outside the play off zone, but on equal points with our next opponents Darlington.
BBC match summary and information
Struggling Chester ended their six-game losing run by picking up a precious point against high-flying Exeter. Chester's Richie Partridge fired just wide early on while Exeter's first chance saw Adam Stansfield's shot kept out by home keeper John Danby.
Exeter keeper Paul Jones superbly denied Partridge before the break and Ryan Lowe fired the rebound wide. The home side continued to threaten but the closest they came to a winner was when Lowe fired wide from eight yards.
Chester: Danby, Roberts, Kelly, Rule, James Vaughan, Mannix, Barry, Ellison, Wilson, Lowe, Partridge (Jones 65).
Subs Not Used: Platt, Rutherford, Smith, Owen.
Booked: James Vaughan.
Exeter: Jones, Tully (Seaborne 63), Taylor, Edwards, Saunders, Gill, Stewart, Panther (Harley 50), Moxey, Stansfield (Basham 46), Logan.
Subs Not Used: Marriott, Cozic.
Attendance 1640 with 417 City fans.
Referee Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).